Tennessee is preparing for Missouri this week with the possibility that it may be without some key players.

Coach Jeremy Pruitt said on the SEC coaches media teleconference on Wednesday that offensive lineman Trey Smith practiced on Tuesday and is fine. The other players Pruitt mentioned are Darel Middleton, who will practice today, while Shawn Shamburger likely won’t.

Neither player appeared in Tennessee’s 31-27 win at South Carolina in the season opener.

Earlier in the week, Pruitt did not clarify if their absences were because of COVID-19 or a required quarantine, but he explained that their absences were not a player discipline issue.

Shamburger was one of the team’s best defensive backs last season, and the Vols struggled to defend the middle of the field last week. South Carolina WR Shi Smith had 10 catches for 140 yards and a TD in the loss.

Middleton was one of the team’s most dependable of the Vols defensive linemen last season. Vols linemen had two tackles against the Gamecocks. The Knoxville native joined Tennessee in December 2018 as a JUCO transfer.

Shamburger started 12 games last season, but last week freshman Doneiko Slaughter started in his place.

The Vols will take on Missouri at noon ET on Saturday on the SEC Network.